It's hard for me to determine just which type of driver I hate most on the road - there are so many bad drivers to choose from.
Lately, it seems as though everyone and their 16-year-old child is allowed to showcase their lack of skill or commitment to excellence on a daily basis in the area of driving - and as my Mom used to say: if anyone doesn't like it, they should get off the sidewalk.
It isn't driving too fast or too slow that drives me mad, for me, the drivers that deserve to be blown off the road with my soon-to-be-patented car lazers are the ones that refuse to acknowledge that they are part of a larger community.
They expect you to slow down so they can merge or change lanes despite being nowhere near the speed they need to do it seamlessly, they are on their phones or digging under their seat when the light turns green, they don't understand right of way, they don't signal and they let the line grow behind them in drive-throughs or right turns instead of MOVING UP SIX INCHES SO WE CAN GET BY - AHHHHHH!
And don't get me started on the guy that goes right to the front of a line and expects to be let in because he is way too important to wait his turn like everybody else.
These drivers all rely on the good nature and patience of others to get through their day, oblivious to how annoying, intrusive and downright selfish they are being.
But then there's the good drivers.
They know how to merge, they stop for pedestrians (at crosswalks, not in the middle of nowhere), they signal, they stay out of the fast lane when not passing, and know how to pick their spots in rush hour; always aware of how their actions affect those around them.
They are the drivers you meet on the highway that provide a cruise controlled speed you can match and follow for hours.
And best of all, they offer a wave and a smile whenever they rely on someone to tap their brakes or adjust their actions in any way to accomodate their path.
These people are unfortunately rare - do you agree?
"Yes Chad, you are probably an awesome driver and you clearly get it - but I thought this was a marketing blog...?"
Can I be Candid - the same characteristics that make you a good or bad driver also define good or bad marketing practice.
They estimate today that we are bombarded with brand messaging no less than tens of thousands of times everyday.
It's a freaking traffic jam of advertisements and engagement attempts out there, and the majority of them are performed by selfish or inconsiderate drivers.
Instead of first becoming aware of other drivers and their needs, they simply pull up fast behind you, cut you off or drive in front of you with a left turn signal blinking for miles.
Instead of following them, turning on our cruise control and enjoying the ride, we do our best to avoid them, we gripe about them in Blogs (just me?) or even flip them the bird as we honk our horn loudly and further detail the plans for our soon-to-be-patented car lazer (just me?).
What brands need to get better at is understanding the needs of the drivers they want to attract, and then ensure their own driving path pulls up alongside without forcing them to brake or adjust their speed.
Make your path the same as theirs and insert value (and a wave of thanks) wherever possible to ensure the least disruption and maximized appeal for your message.
The result will be a long line of drivers that trust your ability to lead them where you want them to go - or even better, where you both already want to go.
If you don't, here are some examples of downright crappy marketing driving habits:
Trying to sell on Facebook: instead of building community, your brand lists the same information as your television commercial or sales flyer.
Boring Commercials: with the exception of SuperBowl, most commercials forget that we are looking for a story, not a list of reasons why you are awesome (that's why we are watching TV, not reading the side of a cereal box).
Spray and Pray Advertising: Just because you have a big budget, doesn't mean you should put your message everywhere. Everyone doesn't care - try getting a little more focused and strategic.
Long, Boring Copy: When is the last time you read a whole page of a website? Never? me neither, and I write for a living. The fact is people want a quick and skimmable user experience - not your life story.
Poor User Experience: Broken links, spelling errors, too many choices and unclear calls to action can translate into users quickly changing lanes and speeding away from your brand.
Want to learn more? Give me a shout and I'd be happy to help you review your brand's current driving practices and strategize a way to improve your brand messaging.
Heck, I'll even come to you, so you can avoid traffic.